The aviation industry will require 39,000 new-build passenger and freighter aircraft by 2040, Airbus has forecast.
The multinational aerospace corporation said within the next 20 years it expects demand for air transport to “progressively shift” from fleet growth to the accelerated retirement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft.
The new aircraft will include ~29,700 small aircraft such as the A220 and A320 families, ~5,300 medium aircraft such as the A321XLR and A33neo, and ~4,000 in the large segment, covered by the A350.
In the cargo market, Airibus said it expects growth in express freight of 4.7 per cent per year and a general cargo growth of 2.7 per cent, which will see a need for ~2,440 freighters, 880 of which will be new-build.
The demand for these aircraft will contribute 4 per cent to annual GDP and sustain 90 million jobs worldwide, including 550,000 new pilots and 710,000 high-skilled technicians, the company said.
“As economies and air transport mature, we see demand increasingly driven by replacement rather than growth. Replacement being today’s most significant driver for decarbonisation. The world is expecting more sustainable flying and this will be made possible in the short-term by the introduction of most modern airplanes,” said Airbus International’s chief commercial officer and head Christian Scherer.
“Powering these new, efficient aircraft with sustainable aviation fuels is the next big lever. We pride ourselves that all our aircraft – the A220, A320neo Family, the A330neo and the A350 – are already certified to fly with a blend of 50% SAF, set to rise to 100% by 2030 – before making ZEROe our next reality from 2035 onwards.”
Airbus said the growth in demand in on track with the company’s pre-pandemic forecast levels reaching a cumulative value of ~$4.8Tn in the next 20 years.
As a consequence of the demand for new aircraft, Airbus said that by 2040 the “vast majority” of commercial aircraft in operation be of the latest generation, up some 13 per cent today, “considerably improving” the CO2 efficiency of the world’s commercial fleets.